If you're not incorporating kettlebells or weights into your workout routine, you're missing out! Not only does resistance training help you lift and sculpt your trouble zones, it allows you to burn more calories even after you put down the iron because muscle is more metabolically active than fat.
"You can sculpt the exact body you want with weights," says Dasha Libin, creator of the Kettlebell Kickboxing workout. "Let's say you have a great piece of marble, and you want to turn that stone into a beautiful sculpture: Weights are your tools to do that. Plus lean muscles will serve as a great source of injury prevention, not only during activity but internally, helping to build a healthier, stronger body."
Libin designed this introductory kickboxing kettlebell workout just for SHAPE readers so you can reap the benefits. Bonus: It only takes 30 to 35 minutes and can be performed at home.
How it works: Do each move once, resting 15 seconds between each exercise. Repeat the entire circuit twice more.
You'll need: An 8- to 15-pound kettlebell or dumbbell and a stopwatch to time yourself
|The Greatest Stretch in the World: Come to a plank. Step left leg forward to meet arms. Lift left arm up while twisting torso to the left. Lower and repeat with right arm, alternating arms for 4 repetitions on each side. Step back into plank and bring opposite foot forward and repeat.|
|Puncher's Trunk Twist: Stand with feet hip-width apart and arms bent, palms facing you. Pivot to the right and punch left arm straight ahead. Pivot back to center, keeping core, legs, and arms tight. Pivot to left and punch right arm out. Continue alternating for 1 minute.|
|Static Fast Run: Run in place for 1 minute as fast as possible. If you have healthy knees, alternate between bringing right knee to touch left elbow and left knee to touch right elbow. (If you suffer from knee issues, move feet fast but low to the ground in a very natural static run.)|
|Bottoms Up High Pull: Start in a deadlift stance (not sure what that means? Click here for a demonstration) with a kettlebell or dumbbell in both hands. Dip down (but not into a full squat), keeping glutes engaged, with a strong and straight back (pictured). As you dip, use glutes, legs, abs, and arms to quickly raise kettlebell or dumbbell overhead in one swift motion. Return to starting position and repeat for 1 minute or as long as possible with proper form.|
|Forearm Plank: Kneel with knees together and in line with hips. Bend forward, placing forearms on ground, elbows under shoulders, hands clasped, pulling abs in. Extend legs so you're balancing on balls of feet, legs and ankles together. Keep belly button pulled to spine and make sure not to arch back. Hold for 1 minute. (If a minute is too hard, try holding for 20-second intervals.)|
|Toe-Touch Speedskaters: Stand with weight on right foot and left foot behind you with tips of toes on the ground. Quickly shift weight and jump to the left, landing on left foot and touching the ground with right arm (pictured). Quickly jump to right side, landing on right foot and touching the ground with left arm. Continue for 1 minute or as long as possible with proper form.|
|Reverse Alternating Lunge: Stand with feet hip-width apart holding a weight or kettlebell in both hands in front of chest with elbows tucked close to body. Step back with right leg so that left knee is aligned over toes. Step back to starting position and repeat with left leg. Alternate legs for 1 minute, keeping weight chest-high the entire time.|
|Soldier March: Hold a dumbbell or kettlebell in both arms at chest level. Alternate kicking straight legs up and forward one at at time, raising arms overhead each time you kick. Continue for 1 minute or as long as possible with proper form.|